White tops out in bonus pay, Knecht takes cut

Marvin Westwestwords

Amazing that Dr. Danny White is collecting $300,000 in bonus loot for doing the job he is paid $2,425,500 annually to do.

Tennessee’s vice chancellor and director of athletics topped out on possible bonus money. He hit the ceiling. If his contract was just a bit more liberal, he could have cashed in another two hundred and thirty thousand plus change.

The fine print says he was entitled to $24,255 because the football Vols went to a bowl. He gets $24,255 a year if any team wins an SEC championship (three won). Another $24,255 is tied to women’s basketball earning a place in the NCAA tournament.

Success in men’s basketball was more profitable – $24,255 for making the NCAA tournament field and $48,510 for reaching the Sweet 16. Surprisingly, there was no extra pay for the Elite 8. The agent obviously slipped up.

A national championship by a team pays $72,765. The baseball Vols came through big time.

Bigger bonus money is based on high scores in academic progress. Dr. White qualified for $121,275, five per cent of his base pay because coaches inspired the Vols to go to class.

Top return of $194,040 was based on a top 10 finish in Learfield Cup ratings, the crowning achievement in college sports, how your teams do in comparison with all others in the country.

Texas finished first. Stanford was second. Tennessee was third, best ever.

Most see Dr. White as a rousing success in his job. Donations are considerable. You don’t suppose he is underpaid?

Just in case he might be, Dr. Danny receives an annual 5 per cent raise and a contract extension. He has a six-year arrangement that rolls over each year.

Dalton Knecht #3 scored 39 points in Tennessee’s 85-66 win over Florida. (File photo by Andrew Ferguson/ Tennessee Athletics)

Vol basketball star Dalton Knecht fell far below projections but didn’t do too badly at the finish line. Speculation had him going as high as No. 6 in the NBA draft. He dropped 11 notches and was taken 17th by the Los Angeles Lakers.

A four-year contract is worth $18.53 million. He will receive $4.63 million during his rookie season. His two-year guaranteed deal is for $7.9 million.

The drop from dream to reality cost $15 million or so. Knecht said he was thrilled the Lakers wanted him. He sees new coach JJ Redick as a good omen.

Knecht has been told Redick is a fierce competitor with an extraordinary basketball IQ. It so happens Rick Barnes used Redick as an example in some of his coaching. Knecht felt like he knew the pro coach before he met him.

More money: Tennessee will pay Colorado $50,000 to buy out the second game of a home-and-home women’s basketball series. The move makes sense.

The Lady Vols were supposed to go to Boulder this winter in return for the Buffs’ visit to Knoxville in 2022. When the staff of new coach Kim Caldwell began filling in the blanks for the 2024-25 schedule, the schools could not find a compatible date.

The Colorado series, created during Kellie Harper’s tenure, was tied to the Lady Vols’ trip to Stanford every other season to create a two-game western trip. Cancellation of the Stanford series put Tennessee in search of another partner.

The buyout looks like a bargain. UT will save travel costs. UT will have an additional home game.

Douglas Utu

Five-star offensive tackle Douglas Utu of Las Vegas has committed to Tennessee. ESPN has him ranked No. 11 in its list of top 300 prep stars. He is 6-6 and 285 and says he is still growing – well, a little bit.

Utu had his choice of big-time football schools. Big linemen with good academics and lofty high school accomplishments are in short supply. Washington, Michigan, Nebraska and Alabama finished somewhere behind Tennessee in recruiting.

Doug was ready with a quip: “You can’t spell UTU without UT!”

Beware: There are other witty comments in circulation.

Question: Biggest concern about 2024 Tennessee football?

Answer: Neyland Stadium scoreboard doesn’t accommodate 3-digit scores.

Follow-up: The Vols wouldn’t do that to good neighbor Chattanooga, first foe, August 31.

Marvin West welcomes comments or questions from readers. His address is marvinwest75@gmail.com


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